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9NEWS NOW, Washington Post Bring You Maryland Gubernatorial Debate LIVE Thursday At Noon

WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A heated debate on Maryland's jobs, education system and, of course, the economy is expected for the debate between Governor Martin O'Malley and Former Governor Robert Ehrlich, today at The Washington Post building.

Ehrlich started off the fireworks Monday by accusing O'Malley, who he referred to as "gov" throughout the debate, of lying about how much money he had saved as governor in the past four years.

O'Malley struck back, by saying that Ehrlich raised taxes throughout his tenure at the state's executive.

Another hot topic for the two candidates in their last meeting Monday morning was education.

Programmable Thermostat Batteries Pose Potential Fire Hazard

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WUSA) -- Pepco has an important warning for its Energy Wise Rewards customers.

If you have a programmable thermostat, remove and dispose the batteries immediately.

The utility provider says leakage from the batteries can damage the thermostat's circuit board and cause it to overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.

Steps To Remove The Batteries

If you have seen any signs that your batteries have leaked, please call 1-866-353-5798 to have your thermostat replaced.

Delmarva and SMECO programmable thermostats also have the same problem. 

These companies do not servie Montogomery County.

Graduation Rate Rises to 90 Percent for Class of 2010- Rate Jumps for 24 of 25 MCPS High Schools

The graduation rate for Montgomery County Public Schools increased to 90 percent in 2010, spurred by dramatic gains among the district’s African American students. The graduation rate for the MCPS class of 2010 showed an increase of more than 2½ percentage points over the Class of 2009, with African American students gaining more than 4 percentage points.

“This is outstanding news for our district. More of our students are graduating on time with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful,” said Patricia O’Neill, President of the Montgomery County Board of Education. “Congratulations to the students, parents and staff that made these results possible.”
   The MCPS graduation rate of 90 percent is 3.4 percentage points higher than the rate for the state of Maryland (86.6 percent).

Maryland County Spends $1 Mil on 'Uncle Tom's Cabin', Turns Out it isn't the REAL Cabin

TheMoneyTimes.com reports, that according to historians, a Maryland county has put more than $2 million into buying and expanding a cabin falsely believed to be the basis of "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

Montgomery County purchased a two-story colonial house in Bethesda with the log cabin extending from one side in 2006 for $1 million and has since spent $1 million more on expanding and studying the property, which was believed to be the former home of Josiah Henson, whose life story inspired Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin."

However, historians said they have now determined Stowe never lived in the cabin although it did belong to the Riley family who held Henson as a slave from 1795 to 1830.  Henson lived in slave quarters that have long disappeared, and never in the house or the cabin, which was then a kitchen.

Montgomery County to Get $2.6M for Snow Removal

(AP)-Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Montgomery County will receive $2.6 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover some of the costs for snow removal last December.

Mikulski said Friday that the agency had allocated the money to the state of Maryland.

A federal disaster declaration after the heavy snow storm made federal funding available to state and local governments for their cleanup costs.

On Thursday, FEMA also awarded funds to the District of Columbia, Virginia and Baltimore County.

Car Rear-Ends School Bus In Germantown

GERMANTOWN, Md. (WUSA) - A spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services said a car has rear-ended an unoccupied school bus in Germantown, Md.

Chief Oscar Garcia said it happened about 11:42 A.M., at Great Seneca Highway and Middlebrook Road.

Officials said the accident involved three vehicles, including the school bus.

Five people were evaluated and two were transported; one to R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore and one person with non-life threatening injuries to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Md., Garcia said.

New Fire and Rescue Station in Germantown

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, County Council President Nancy Floreen, Councilmember Mike Knapp, Delegate Charles Barkley, Fire Chief Richard Bowers, Department of General Services Director David Dise and other officials will participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Germantown/Milestone Fire and Rescue Station #34. The station is the third for the growing Germantown area, which is now home to about 86,000 residents. The second – the Germantown/Kingsview Fire and Rescue Station #22 -- was opened in March 2009 and the original Germantown Fire and Rescue Station on Crystal Rock Drive has served the community since 1989. The new, one-story station provides direct emergency response services to a 12.7 square-mile area that includes Milestone, Neelsville, Fox Chapel and Middlebrook, as well as the Ridge Road Recreation Park.